Hometown Security

Sorry for the hiatus.  I took another vacation to the big city, and I’m just now getting back into the rut…..I mean routine…..of my life.

One of the biggest topics on the news in the past few days is the story about the unarmed teenager who was shot in Florida by a neighborhood watch captain.  Trayvon Martin was walking home from getting candy–yes, really, candy–and apparently wandered into the local neighborhood DMZ.

The neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, thought the boy had drugs.  He called emergency services, then followed the teenager.  No one knows exactly what happened, but the presumption is there was some sort of confrontation.  One thing that everyone does know is how the story ended: Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin and killed him.

To say the shit is hitting the fan would be one of the most fantastic understatements in the history of the universe.  For starters, the local police in that neighborhood didn’t exactly handle the situation the way everyone thinks they should have.  They sent a narcotics detective instead of a homicide detective, for example.  I won’t go into everything else.  All of this is just filler.  What this post is really about is my opinion of this situation (as if you didn’t know that already.)

My opinion is that the whole thing stinks.  Big time.

I have never, ever, ever had much appreciation for the whole neighborhood watch concept.  The basic purpose of it is that if you see something suspicious, you call emergency services to notify the police and then they come and handle it. Cause that’s, you know, their job.  Instead, what happens is that you get some puffed up power-tripping law enforcement wanna-be with a gun trotting around your neighborhood.  I don’t know about you, but that personally doesn’t make me feel any safer.  In fact, it makes me feel afraid to even take out my dog for a pee in the evening.

Zimmerman said when he called 911 that he thought the teen had drugs.  (As an aside, the 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman NOT to follow the teenager.)  He was carrying a bag of some sort.  Well, I guess that’s the standard drug carrying satchel–a 7-11 bag.  It’s the go-to accessory for the modern heroine addict.

Also, the teen was wearing a hoodie.

Oh, did I mention Trayvon was black?

I guess Mr. Zimmerman had little choice, right?  I mean, a black teenager wearing a hoodie and carrying a convenience store bag through a neighborhood he didn’t live in?

On the other hand, it was raining, so I guess Trayvon wanted to keep his head dry.  Also, he didn’t have drugs in his bag.  He had candy, and he was carrying a bottle of tea.  He was alone and walking through that neighborhood because that was the way for him to get back home.  He wasn’t even loitering.  He was walking and talking on his cell phone.  Zimmerman, who has probably had a hard-on to bust someone since he started his “job,” saw a perfect opportunity.  I have no doubt that Trayvon may have even mouthed off to Zimmerman when he confronted him, as would many teenagers, I’m sure.  Is running your mouth grounds for shooting?  If so, you’d better enjoy this post, because I doubt I’ll last the week.

By far the most disturbing fact is that George Zimmerman is still a free man.  I’m sorry–I don’t care how decorated a neighborhood watchman he is, George Zimmerman needs to be held accountable for this crime.

Around here, we don’t have neighborhood watch, because, well, we don’t have neighborhoods.  And yes, we all have guns.  I’ve written about it before.  I’ve even hinted as to what would happen if someone broke into my home.  However, I don’t feel compelled to arm myself and patrol the neighborhood.  I have been around people like Zimmerman, though.  We have them here, too.  Oh yes.  It’s almost always a guy, and usually the one who was picked on in school for being a “wimp.”  They actually wear a pistol on their hip everywhere they go.  Really.

What is that point of that?  To prove what a big, macho man you are, I guess.  Look at me–I’m not a wimp, I’m a badass!  And if you walk through my neighborhood with candy and tea, I’m going to shoot you! Especially if you’re black!

So I, along with the rest of the country, await the next phase of this story.  I hope our justice system has the courage to do the right thing.  In all seriousness, there is a family who had to bury their son, not because he did something wrong, but because he wanted some candy and some tea, and because he wanted to keep his head dry.  Somebody has to answer for it.




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18 Comments on "Hometown Security"

  1. Wilbert
    22/03/2012 at 9:54 am Permalink
  2. Janice
    22/03/2012 at 1:54 pm Permalink

    I’ll check it out.

  3. Rachel
    22/03/2012 at 1:45 pm Permalink

    You make a pretty strong argument for tougher gun control laws. If George didn’t have a gun, this wouldn’t have happened. (I’m glad you’re back! “..getting back into the rut…” LOL – I relate to that!). Another thought-provoking post.Well done!

  4. Janice
    22/03/2012 at 1:53 pm Permalink

    I have very mixed feelings about gun control. On the one hand, I dislike excessive government control of our everyday life. Also, I think it’s sort of a joke. People who are going to use guns illegally ACQUIRE them illegally. Duh. And I do believe in the right to bear arms. Maybe there should be some sort of intelligence test or something. I could get behind that.

    Also, I know George Zimmerman was arrested in 1995. I missed what it was for. If he was ever convicted of a felony, he isn’t allowed to have a gun. I’m going to assume he wasn’t, since I feel absolutely certain that would have come out in the press already.

  5. Ado
    27/03/2012 at 9:15 pm Permalink

    It’s a shocking, disgusting travesty that if you are black in America you can’t wear a hoodie without some gun-freak like Zimmerman shooting you dead. I am so furious about this whole thing and the way it was handled. It really seems like it’s more of a crime in America for a black boy to wear a hoodie than it is for a crazy man to carry a gun.

  6. Kerstin
    27/03/2012 at 10:55 pm Permalink

    I am glad I live in Canada, not in the US when I read about what happened there. I have to admit I don’t follow American politics all that much, but I read that President Obama addressed the issue and said that Trayvon could have been his son. Way to speak up about it, this can’t be pushed under a rug!

  7. Mayor Gia
    28/03/2012 at 12:00 am Permalink

    Ahhh, it upsets me so much. I blogged about it yesterday (http://mayorgia.blogspot.com/2012/03/things-that-are-not-okay-trayvon-martin.html) A totally unnecessary tragedy

  8. Jackie
    28/03/2012 at 8:05 am Permalink

    There are just so many things with this situation that leaves me shaking my head. A child killed, murdered for no reason by an adult in a positive of power, based off what he ‘thought’, not knew.

  9. Susie Newday
    28/03/2012 at 9:20 am Permalink

    Since I try really hard not to follow news because it is just depressing-what Did Zimmerman say in his defense? Is he showing any remorse?

  10. MamaMzungu
    28/03/2012 at 10:31 am Permalink

    I think Ado sums it up best: “It really seems like it’s more of a crime in America for a black boy to wear a hoodie than it is for a crazy man to carry a gun.” I’m glad the shit has hit the fan in response. At least we have that. Unfortunately we also have a place where racist vigilates can snuff ou young lives. It really is beyond sad.

  11. christina
    28/03/2012 at 12:21 pm Permalink

    i finally read about this disgusting story last week and … it still steams me. bloody ridiculous.

  12. Tracy @ Scribblesaurus Me
    28/03/2012 at 12:59 pm Permalink

    It’s so disgusting and ridiculous. Not only the crime itself but that Zimmerman is still walking around a free man. When are they going to do the right thing and arrest that, pardon my french, asshole? I am not a fan of Neighborhood Watch either – I don’t want some jacked up show off romping through my neighborhood with a loaded gun. Even if he is responsible, accidents happen.

  13. Susan
    28/03/2012 at 1:09 pm Permalink

    This breaks my heart every time I read about it. I would like to think that most people are not like George Zimmerman, but unfortunately, even one of him (and of course, there are more) is too many.

  14. Beej
    28/03/2012 at 9:57 pm Permalink

    I have been in a full-on foaming at the mouth fury about this. I have no idea how anyone thinks these “stand your ground” laws are a good idea. I have no idea how Zimmerman is free and Martin is dead. I have no idea how Martin’s corpse was drug tested but the man who murdered him was never tested for illegal substances. I have no idea how Martin had no criminal record and Zimmerman had arrests – for violent crimes, one of which was against a police officer – and he is still free. It’s sick.

  15. Alison@Mama Wants This
    29/03/2012 at 6:20 am Permalink

    This whole situation makes me sick. And the smear campaign they mounted against Trayvon? Disgusting.

  16. Sperk* (Kimberly S.)
    29/03/2012 at 9:23 am Permalink

    Well-said on an important topic. Many issues to explore-racism, gun control, mental illness, the justice system, media…keep the conversation going.

  17. Cathy
    29/03/2012 at 12:49 pm Permalink

    This story is so hard to comprehend. So sad for the family of this promising young man. So sad that hatred, fear, and prejudice cause the taking of a life.

  18. Michelle Longo
    29/03/2012 at 5:57 pm Permalink

    I will never understand this. Never. We need to keep talking about this.

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